Blue Jays starting pitchers could interest Braves

MLB: SEP 11 Rangers at Blue Jays

Over the last several weeks, I’ve headlined names from a plethora of teams who might sell at the trade deadline that could interest the Braves. Those selling clubs will become much more clear very soon, as I wrap up this series, but there are still a few more teams that need to be highlighted.

In this piece, we’ll actually be going back to Toronto. Last week, I mentioned a couple of shortstops they could offer the Braves that would be upgrades over Orlando Arcia. This article will highlight a few of their starting pitchers. Toronto, who is now 16.0 games back in the AL East and in last place, needs to start thinking about trading everyone, and they have a lot of starting pitchers at their disposal.

If you missed any of the previous parts to this series, follow the links below.

Kevin Gausman

Back in 2018, Alex Anthopoulos swung a deal with the Baltimore Orioles to bring Kevin Gausman to Atlanta. He went on to post a 2.87 ERA over his final 10 starts of the season with the Braves, but 2019 was a mess and he was eventually designated for assignment.

The following offseason, Kevin Gausman signed with the Giants, and that’s when his career really began to take off. In 2021, he was named to the NL All-Star team and finished sixth in the Cy Young race, leading to him signing a massive contract with the Blue Jays. For the first two seasons, he exceeded expectations in Toronto, finishing as high as third in the AL Cy Young race last year.

However, 2024 hasn’t been nearly as productive. Gausman owns a 4.64 ERA over 18 starts. His 3.86 FIP suggests some positive regression could lie ahead, but he’s a guy whose name value may actually exceed his production moving forward. He’s entering his mid-30s with declining peripherals and is owed $23 million in 2025 and 2026. It’s not a terrible contract for a pitcher that has been so successful in recent years, but it may be too risky for Alex Anthopoulos’ taste.

Jose Berrios

The idea of the Braves acquiring a starting pitcher at the trade deadline is especially intriguing when talking about guys who are under contract for multiple years. Because, while the Braves don’t have a massive need right now, that changes following this season, with Max Fried set to test free agency and Charlie Morton expected to retire.

Like Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios is under contract for several years and owed $18.7 million in 2025 and 2026. He has a player opt-out following the 2026 season, but could potentially opt in for 2027 and 2028 as well, which will pay him close to $25 million per season.

$18.7 million per season for Jose Berrios is a palatable number. It’s about what Charlie Morton has made over the last few seasons with the Braves, and their numbers — as far as run prevention is concerned — are comparable. However, I’m not in love with the idea of potentially being forced to pay Jose Berrios $25 million per year while he’s 35 years old four years from now.

Yusei Kikuchi

If the Braves just wanted to go the insurance route and worry about the future at a later date, Yusei Kikuchi is a name to watch. He’s in the final year of his deal and owns a 4.12 ERA, 3.64 FIP and 9.4 K/9 over 18 starts. He’ll be a hot commodity as a rental if the Blue Jays make him available.

Chris Bassitt

Of all the starting pitchers the Blue Jays could make available, Chris Bassitt is the one that intrigues me the most. He’s a workhorse that has made at least 25 starts in every season since 2019, outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Over that stretch, he has three top ten finishes in the AL Cy Young race, including last season in which he posted a 16-8 record with a 3.60 ERA over 200 innings.

Bassitt is getting up there in age at 35-years-old, but the production is still there this season. He owns a 3.43 ERA and already has over 100 innings under his belt. Bassitt also doesn’t have a giant contract attached to him as he’s under contract for just one more season at a more than palatable rate of $22 million.

Photo: Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: